Saints sign veteran QB Dalton as possible Winston backup

METAIRIE, La. (AP) — The Saints have signed veteran quarterback Andy Dalton, giving New Orleans a second experienced signal-caller behind returning starter Jameis Winston.

Dalton, whose signing was announced Tuesday by Saints general manager Mickey Loomis, is a former starter in Cincinnati and is now with his fourth team in four years after spending his first eight with the Bengals.

The 34-year-old Dalton played for Dallas in 2020 and last season played in eight games with six starts for Chicago, completing 63.1% of his passes for 1,515 yards with eight touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Dalton, a Texas native, started nine games for the Cowboys in 2020, when Dallas starter Dak Prescott was injured for much of the season. That season, Dalton completed 64.9% of his passes for 2,170 yards and 14 TDs while being intercepted eight times.

The signing of Dalton gives New Orleans three full-time QBs, including 2021 fourth-round draft pick Ian Book out of Notre Dame.

Taysom Hill, who has gone 7-2 as a starting quarterback in relief of Drew Brees and Jameis Winston during the past two seasons, remains with the club as well, but is expected to serve in a more traditional tight end role in 2022.

The 6-foot-2 Dalton was a second-round pick out of TCU and was part of Bengals playoffs teams in each of his first five NFL seasons, when he was also voted to three Pro Bowls. In his nine seasons in Cincinnati, Dalton completed 2,757 passes for 31,594 yards and 204 TDs and was intercepted 118 times.

Dalton also has rushed 438 times in his career for 1,411 yards and 22 touchdowns.

His career record as a starter is 77-69-2.

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